The U of M has seen a windfall of sorts over the last decade — $400 million dollars in royalties on worldwide sales of the AIDs drug Ziagen. But that revenue will dry up when the U’s patent on the drug expires in 2013. That means a loss of tens of millions of dollars a year in revenue that the U spends on research and development.
So what’s a research university to do? The U has planned for the loss of funds for several years, and has set aside about $13 million to get it through the big decrease in revenue.
And as you’ll see in this story I did for MPR news, U officials are also pushing their employees to come up with more inventions that can be marketed.
Right now the U brings in about $8 million a year from inventions (not including Ziagen). U officials want to get that up to $20 million within a few years.